5 HR Mistakes Your Staff Will Hate You For

June 19, 2015

5 HR Mistakes Your Staff Will Hate You For

When HR gets it right, your company enjoys countless benefits – such as highly-engaged staff, a strong employer brand and a very profitable business, to list just a few.

But when HR makes mistakes, it can often spell out trouble – and there are certain mistakes that really rub your workforce up the wrong way.

Here’s what we consider the top 5 mistakes that will put you in the bad books with your staff – as well as tips to help you solve them.

1. Paperwork & Administration Errors

This is possibly the #1 pet hate for employees everywhere – particularly when it comes to HR mistakes in critical areas like the pay run, tax information or even contact details.

Some employees see the HR department as nothing more than a place where employee information is processed. But even though HR is so much more than that, until you get the basics running smoothly and consistently, your employees will continue to disregard many of the other valuable things you bring to the business.

2. Lack Of Answers

For those employees who see the HR department as more than just a paper-pushing factory on the third floor, the next thing that really bugs them is when HR can’t answer their questions. And oh my goodness, do employees have a lot of questions!

How do I settle this argument between X and Y?

How much am I allowed to earn before tax?

What’s the contribution on my healthcare plan?

If you can’t answer their questions confidently – and trust me, you won’t always be able to – then don’t bury your head in the sand; that’s a quick way to erode employee relations.

It might seem like a headache, but when an employee asks you a question you don’t have the answer to, you should either find out the answer, or find somebody who has the answer and make a pro-active referral.

3. Misguided Focus

If your workforce has serious issues that need attention, but you’re sat in the corner thinking about how to get more people interested in doing a voluntary first aid course, then you probably need to review your strategy.

Your staff will respect you more if you can show that you’re working hard to make the company a better place to work, by tackling the serious issues that are impacting your staff the most.

I mean, first aid is great – really, it is! But before you devote all of your time worrying about ‘nice to haves’, you need to prove that you’re doing something about the ‘need to haves’.

4. HR Has No Power

This is another massive issue for a lot of employees:

– Does the HR department understand their issue? Yes!

– Does the HR department know what’s needed to fix it? Yes!

– Does the HR department have the power to do that? Um…

This is less of a problem that the HR department is responsible for… in fact, I’m looking at you with this one, Senior Executives – you need to give your HR department a seat at the top table, because do you know what? They’re smart problem-solvers that have a much bigger influence on your company’s success than you think!

5. HR Gossips

OK, so the majority of HR professionals don’t actually gossip, and are actually very trustworthy. But did you know that a lot of employees hesitate to tell their HR department about things because they don’t trust they’ll handle the issue with confidentiality?

If you feel like this is an issue at your company, why not publish an internal statement that explains exactly how you treat information entrusted to you in confidence? And if you’re actually gossiping (and we hope you’re not), then stop!

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